Today’s budget is a recipe for failure, even by the appalling standards of this government. This was the reaction of Workers’ Party President, Michael Finnegan, after Finance Minister Brian Lenihan had delivered his final Budget speech in the Dáil this afternoon.
“This budget” stated Mr Finnegan “is a classic right wing budget. It is a product of a very particular view of economics and society which is equally shared by Fianna Fáil and the IMF. However, even within the parameters within which it is framed it is a failure. Within the parameters of what is good for society it is am unmitigated disaster.”
“This is a slash and burn budget. It attacks the low paid; it attacks those on welfare payments; it attacks the most vulnerable including carers and people with disabilities. Sops like a minor reduction in the excessive salary of the Taoiseach will not fool the public. Cowen will still earn over €4,000 euro per week. He and his ministers, on their way to a deserved political oblivion, have the audacity to cut child benefit and the already lowly allowances for carers and people on welfare”.
“This budget places a bigger tax burden on the low paid. It brings more low paid workers into the tax net. It will increase the already major problems facing the working poor. However, true to form, the minority at the top of the income tree face minimal pain. Once again the government have set their faces against a third tax band for the super-high earners within the economy. There is no technical, moral or economic rationale for the refusal of this rump government introducing a 50% tax band to be set at 300% of the average industrial wage.”
“This budget adds to the deflation in the economy. It is taking money out of the hands of the very sectors of society who have no capacity to either save or borrow and spend their entire disposable income within the local economy. This is, in effect, a further attack on the service and retail economy, and will lead to further catastrophic job losses in these sectors”.
“This budget will not create one job. There is no attempt to reverse the scandal of the give-away of our natural resources including the catastrophe of the handover of our offshore oil and gas resources to a cartel of multinational corporations. There is not one word about using the solid base of our commercial state companies to develop new technology and new industry without imposing any financial burden on the taxpayer”.
“Slavish adherence to market economics has landed Ireland in the present crisis. It is obvious that a further dose of the same market economics, whether applied by a Fianna Fail or Fine Gael Minister for Finance, cannot solve the problem. The Workers Party believes that the forthcoming election, which cannot come quickly enough, offers the only hope to the Irish people. We believe that in the forthcoming election the real battle is the battle of ideas, the battle between more of the same or for a socialist alternative. As a party we will place a clear socialist alternative before the people, and we believe that the next Dáil can form the first ever Left socialist government in the history of the state.”, said Michael Finnegan.
Issued 7th December 2010